Thursday 18 January 2018

Alley goals are crucial

Rick Lewis

Goals ultimately proved decisive at Bree on Sunday as the Buffers Alley second string racked up their second win of the Top Oil Intermediate 'A' hurling championship Group B with a couple of points to spare.

Buffers Alley 2-6 Ger. O'Hanrahans 0-10

The dominant force for most the match, at gale-racked Bree, Geraldine O'Hanrahans were left empty-handed after they failed to find the net behind Oliver O'Leary.

The Alley looked to be in bother when they were a point down at the break (0-5 to 0-4) after 30 minutes of hurling despite having had the advantage of the elements.

However, there were signs that they were capable of better just before the interval when Darragh Butler's shot provoked a brilliant save by 'keeper Mark Purcell, at the expense of a point.

The Alley were in retreat on the resumption as David Crowdle and Matt Crowdle extended the New Ross team's lead, only for Paul Doran to take on a starring role for the eventual victors.

The laid-back corner-forward equalised on 44 minutes with a sweet goalbound connection on a loose ball, and then he teed up John Moran for the second goal on 55 minutes.

Once ahead, they never surrendered the initiative, though the Gers continued to press and Stephen Somers had a clear chance to beat O'Leary, only to blaze wide past the 'keeper's right-hand post.

Though the likes of Somers and Gary Hill were the leading personalities for most of the match, they eventually ran out of ideas in the face of the strong wind.

They perished on a workmanlike Alley defence in which Michael Sinnott was to the fore, to finish the afternoon frustrated and point-less.

It was a good win considering James Foley was lost to Senior ranks the previous night.

He had been one of the key figures seven days earlier when the men from Monamolin out-pointed former under-age partners and close neighbours St. Patrick's in a low-scoring encounter in Ferns.

However, he was called into action in Bellefield on Saturday when the Alley's Seniors drew with Ferns St. Aidan's in a very entertaining affair.

While this Intermediate 'A' clash didn't match it in terms of skill or pace, the result was even better for the Alley as they now find themselves unbeaten after two rounds.

In sharp contrast, the Geraldines are struggling to make an impact after being relegated from the higher Intermediate grade, and hurling in the Barrowside is in need of an urgent lift.

They will be hoping to provide it in the third round on the weekend of May 23-24 when they take on Fethard, but this will be a very difficult assignment as the seasiders are also unbeaten at this early juncture.

Buffers Alley: Oliver O'Leary; Conor Kenny, Alan Doyle, Eoin Whelan; Michael Sinnott, Thomas Dempsey, Colm Óg Doran; Eddie O'Connor, Robert O'Leary; Cormac Foley (0-5, 4 frees), Darragh Butler (0-1), Owen Dempsey; Paul Doran (1-0), John Moran (1-0), Ciarán Murphy. Sub. - Domhnall McArdle for O'Connor (30).

Geraldine O'Hanrahans: Mark Purcell; Tony Murphy, Conor Cleere, Shane Murray; Barry Kelly, Dylan Egan, Stephen Kelly; Gary Hill, Eoin Kelly (0-5, 4 frees); Matt Crowdle (0-2), Eoin Bailey, Danny Conway (0-1); Stephen Somers (0-1), David Crowdle (0-1), Kevin Grangel. Subs. - James Ryan for B. Kelly (24), Stephen Ryan for Grangel (30).

Referee: Aiden O'Brien (Cloughbawn).

Wexford People

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